Friday, January 16, 2015


I have only shopped in IKEA twice and was impressed with the quality of the merchandise once it is assembled.  It is an interesting experience for me because you can choose how much effort you want to put into the purchase and that determines your costs.

Last week I ordered two sets of bookshelves with height extensions for about $200 - amazingly cheap for what look like quite elegant shelving.   You take the order to a warehouse where you select the disassembled items and take them on a trolley to the cashier. For $40 they will do this for you so you only need to go the cashier but I didn't pay that - this involved trivial effort.  The price for assembling the shelves and disposing of the packaging was $140 - a two part tariff consisting of a fixed $35 charge and a variable $90 charge for the assembly of the two units.  I felt some guilt about my laziness in this respect but I my experience is that idiot proof assembly often defeats me so I paid up including the $15 fee for the assembler to remove the boxes. Delivery cost another $92 so all up my $200 shelves cost me $440.  Still fairly inexpensive for what seem to be high quality units.

There were time costs of waiting for delivery of the items and for the arrival of the assembler cost me a whole working day. This was expensive in terms of at least one foregone golf game.  In addition, as far as I can see, you cannot order from IKEA online so the shopping expedition through Melbourne traffic added to my user costs.

Update: This was written before the assembler came.  Nice guy put the thing together in two hours plus - two simple bookshelves. It wasn't simple and very pleased I had it assembled rather than do myself.  It would have taken me (at least) a day of frustration.


  1. Harry - I think it is good to do an IKEA assembly once in a while if you have time. It requires a kind of intelligence a little different from the more literal kind which is required in academia. With the wordless instructions it is rather like an old fashioned IQ test. While not really difficult it is nonetheless easy to make mistakes and have to disassemble much of what you have already done. This is where the cussing and profanity arises.

    A Billy bookshelf is pretty straightforward. Try doing something which can be configured in various ways (I remember a particular pig of an L-shaped desk and a trundle bed). Then after you have exhausted your entire lexicon of profanity google "Fuck IKEA" and see how many hits you get. Good luck!

  2. I get too angry and it is too time consuming. I can do it but it would take me a day. division of labor and all that. I assembled a barbecue (not from IKEA) a few years back and I swore and cussed for 2 days of intermittent attempts. Finally I got it right but never again.